Steve Dalachinsky and Yuko Otomo read from Frozen Heatwave

On April 1 of this year, Steve Dalachinsky and Yuko Otomo came over to my place for coffee and bagels and to read some poetry. It was a wonderful afternoon, as easy as the Vimeo you are about to see. I had specifically asked them to read from Frozen Heatwave wanting to capture that adroit, loving, clever, argumentative, impressive, endearingly enduring collaboration that was their relationship. I will always remember them together. Even when one got up to read a poem, the other was there somewhere in the room.

The first page of Frozen Heatwave, which they don’t read on the Vimeo, follows. It was written on a subway train. The lines in italics are Yuko’s.


roses trapped behind chainlink

sunset or sunrise
who will embrace their fragrance?

frozen heatwave

in summer
or in winter

as i face my panic attacks

don’t ask me why I write
a line such as this

start herego anywhere

let’s escape!
be confident!

escape your roommates

stealing your idea?
who cares what idea
belongs to who!
It’s about Flower Bird
Wind & Moon anyway

it’s about turtle shirts making a difference
getting paid: from apple to apple

a child talking to himself
as the train moves on

In the summer of 2017, subway trains took Steve and Yuko to see Marsden Hartley’s Maine at the Met Breuer, and Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends, and Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction at MoMA. The lines in italics are Yuko’s:

At the Robert Rauschenberg exhibit at MoMA: Among Friends, June 26, 2017

Grand Black Tie Sperm Glut, 1987

in the universe
where there is no up/down/left/right
arrows mean
no direction home

At the Marsden Hartley show, Maine, the Met Breuer, June 15, 2017

Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1943). The Wave, 1940. Oil on masonite-type hardboard, 30 1⁄4 x 40 7/8 in. (76.8 x 103.8 cm). Worcester Art Museum


water reflects a storm
inside me
in the evening
I become
a dramatic
cry of awe

an animated vibrancy
responding to sound
transcendent penile resurrection
dark landscapes surrounded by
pretentious onlookers & economy
h(e)art Cranes abundantly cresting ghost

a fishy mix as feathers fly from
stoic lonely birds
“the invisible life of the place”
pork chop lighthouse before
& after the storm the hunter the lobster
the wave the champ(ion)
to sea dog tying (k)nots
cutting decadent mouth

asleep within a crowd
i bit my masters
as i worshipped them
my dream house never built
my hands buried deep within
the sagging church

Marsden Hartley (American, 1877-1943). Knotting Rope, 1939–40. Oil on board, 28 x 22 in. (71.1 x 55.9 cm). Private collection, New York

knotting rope

my hands

Frozen Heatwave is published by Luna Bisonte Prods. You can check them out here:

Photo by Andrew Lampert, at the Rauschenberg show, MoMA, June 26, 2017

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